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Letter to Editor

Letter to the Editor: On October 28th, ‘OXI’ Day

October 21, 2022

To the National Herald:

 

October 28, ‘OXI’ Day, the day that Greece during the Second World War set in stone for the world the very meaning of the word ‘courage’ approaches.

And again, regrettably, we see NO attempts by way of a film or documentary or series of videos illustrating the story of Greece’s heroism and the pivotal role Greece played in defeating the Axis by delaying Hitler’s plan to invade and conquer the Soviet Union and the delivering to a disheartened and fearful world, of the FIRST victory over the Axis/fascists during that conflict.

NO attempts by mass media such as a film/documentary to FINALLY publicize and gain acknowledgement for this amazing accomplishment and sacrifice for the American public, or schools, or for other countries’ consumption across the globe.

Does this incredible story not deserve to be told?

When will that happen, so that letters like the following are no longer necessary?

This letter was sent to Jim Cramer, host of the very popular ‘Mad Money’ television program, his producer, to CNBC and to its parent company.

 

“Jim Cramer, Host of CNBC’s Mad Money

Cc: Regina Gilgan, Producer

 

Dear Mr. Cramer:

I am a longtime viewer of your program Mad Money and have been a follower of your financial advice and perspectives since the days of Kudlow and Cramer on the radio.

I have never in all that time heard you mention or even allude to your guests’ religious or ethnic backgrounds. That is why I was very surprised, shocked even, when at the end of your interview with the Greek-born Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer on last Thursday’s (July 28) Edition of Mad Money you made the point that you were thankful that his Greek-Jewish family survived the Holocaust…

Why, one may ask, was it important to make that comment about Dr. Bourla? Certainly to Dr. Bourla it was surprising, as his face registered this after your comment.

If you wanted to comment on Dr. Bourla’s tragic family history, perhaps you could have bracketed it with some background history of how Dr. Bourla’s immediate family survived and STAYED in Greece during and after World War II and the Holocaust.

How his father and uncle escaped from Nazi-occupied Thessaloniki and made it to Athens, surely with the help of Greek Christians, and how once in Athens they were given false identity papers by Head of the Athens Police Department, who at the risk of his own life was helping many Jews escape persecution at the hands of the Nazis.

The Head of the Athens Police Force who was under constant scrutiny as were ALL officials in Nazi/German-occupied Greece, was responding to the directives of the Archbishop of All Greece, His Holiness Damaskinos to the Greek people to shield and aid their Jewish brethren. No other cleric or leader in wartime Europe had the courage, the sheer guts, to make the pronouncements that the Archbishop of Athens did.

Bourla’s own mother was saved from execution by the courageous intervention of a Greek Christian relative, who paid a ransom for her to the Nazi Administrator of Thessaloniki, the horrific Max Merten. When it looked like Merten was going to renege on the deal, this man personally denounced him, an act that could have ended up with HIM in front of the firing squad. His efforts saved Bourla’s mother, who was taken off an execution line mere minutes before she was to put in front of a firing squad. As she was driven away, she and her savior HEARD the firing squad doing its ghastly work.

If you want to point up someone’s family history, you should oblige your viewers with a proper background of how even in the most horrific of circumstances, amid the horror of a Genocide, there WERE people who stood up for what was right and taught the world the true meaning of courage, duty, and brotherhood.

In Dr. Bourla’s case, Mr. Cramer, that would be the Greek Orthodox Church and the people of Greece.

 

Paul J. Kutscera, Esq.

Bayside, NY

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